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tv   Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 10, 2013 6:00am-7:00am EST

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priorities, and we have been able to put more funding into mental health services, especially crisis intervention itself. certainly come as a governor, with my cabinet, we have has some rehearsals going through emergency response and prepared this, making sure all different levels are fortunate the levels they need to be functioning, -- but to make sure all of the different categories the web -- to make sure all of the tab -- cabinet secretaries are functioning. we will observed our second amendment rights. >> what can you say in terms of immigration reform? >> very much a federal issue.
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we look forward to be supportive and we can. a number of governors would say the idea of making it easier for folks who have come year from elsewhere to kick their education here and who may want to stay here and have jobs here, we should make that easier for them. it is a big debate around a lot of issues. we look forward to working with the administration and congress on that. >> the states have had different reactions to health care reform. some are in the process of forming their own insurance exchanges. other states are leaving it up to the federal government. he proudly each have different perspectives on it. is health reform going to work in 2014 given the responses on
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the state level to it? >> i know we each address it. i will start. devastates are taking a different approach. one has to do -- different states are taking a different approach. in delaware, we decided to to a state federal partnership after a significant concentration -- consultation. number two, the issue was do we expand medicaid. this was an issue of math. we believe it is a good lesson for us to make sure more people covered through this expansion while at the same time, the
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federal reimbursement for medicaid increases. number three, this is your question about how it is going to work. i have been grateful for the bishop of celtuce of bilious in supporting the the would-crate full for the leadership of secretary sebelius. there are changes -- i am grateful for the leadership of secretary sebelius. arkansas has done some interesting work around moving away from fee-for-service. governor patrick got a bill passed in massachusetts that is starting to do the same thing. we are hopeful we are going to get one of these innovation grants. so much of the conversation about health care has been around what is happening at the
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national level. as with many of these issues, how it's implemented depends upon what kind of decisions the we make it our states -- in our states. the role that nga place is as much around technical assistance as anything else. -- plays is as much around technical assistance as anything else. the of the 20 to make basic and important fundamental reforms -- the opportunity to make basic and important fundamental reforms. >> we believe we need flexibility and we need a partnership. that was our two main points in discussing this issue.
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each state is unique and have different policies, different constitutions, the inland budgets. 30 of our states are just beginning to reach pre-recession levels. there are some states that have better health outcomes and some states that do not have as good of health outcomes as they need. it state man's decision of what best fits their population, their budget -- each state makes the decision on what best fits their population, their budget. it will cost $450 billion until 2020. there was another report saying it would be six hunters $50 billion. -- the dollars billion.
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-- $650 billion. we are a london-based debt ceiling limit. we cannot know what is in store for my state budget or other states because we do not know what congress and the administration is going to do as they work together to find a solution to the been issues facing our nation such as the cuts in the deficit. we have a current website or we have a best practices, resources. -- we have a great website where we have best practices and resources. there was an option we were looking at for being able to help those who were uninsured create better access to care. we need that flexibility in
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oklahoma to sustain a program currently working in my state. >> i was hoping you could expand on the tax reform task force you created. can you outline some of the goals? you also mentioned tax exemption about investment infrastructure. maybe you can expand on that in terms of what steps you are taking as congress is talking about sequestration. >> the tax reform task force is being led by the governor of pennsylvania and the governor of kentucky. we recognize there is considerable work being done here in washington. we think it is incumbent upon us to come in with a solution and not say, we wanted this,
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this, and this. in general terms we say, we know what you want to achieve and we want to be helpful in coming up with reasonable solutions. parts of this regarding the tax to the ability for municipal- bond is is important -- part of this is regarding the tax deductible for municipal-bonds. we need to make sure we are communicating effectively. we were grateful for the reception we got from president obama and vice president biden a month or so ago. we went in and said, we are not advocating one approach or the other. we want to make sure the states have a place at the table. but it is health care,
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education, work force training or other things -- whether it is health care, education, work force training or other things, we need to work together. we had a good meeting with the president and vice president and leader harry reid. we want to make sure we have an opportunity to weigh in so that people can understand the impact on states. >> you are going to see something politicians rarely do. i want to clarify something. there are a lot of numbers floating around as it relates to medicare. i want to clarify something i said a minute though -- amendment of about my state. it is actually $800 billion for
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our nation. getting back to the tax issue and to the tax reform committee you talked about, one of the things we have been working on as the nga is trying to work within our space in looking at how we can make government more efficient, more effective. we are concerned about our bond toing, our nation's ability borrow at a reasonable cost. we have a task force we have .ormedi find some't uncdrtainty and
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having to have this debate -- uncertainty and having to have this debate every few months created so much uncertainty in our state that it is hard for us to write a budget. i have been working on my state budget. we are going to give our state of the states in the next couple of weeks. it cues meeting to be adjusted. congress passed a tax act a few weeks ago. we know they will have another vote because they will hit the debt ceiling. in the main -- the middle of our budget rising -- writing, there will be changes. our tax reform is about bringing
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to give the governors to look a the best practices, finding innovative ways we can share ideas, and being able to share in partnership with congress and the president. we think it is important for us to have a seat at the table. >> one of the point on that. this is the issue of uncertainty for us as governors in preparing our budgets. there are businesses in our states. the administration is focused on the continued focus on, as you are thinking about how to deal with these key issues, keep it focused on growth. go ahead. >> you both touched on education reform and the race to the top. i was wondering if you could talk about no child left behind.
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we have a waiver process under way, but i was wondering if there could be a unified push. we are coming up on 2014. >> i agree with the premise of the question. it is something we are focused on. many states are seeking waivers. there is probably something wrong. education secretary arne duncan pastured a wave of execution improvement across the country -- has triggered a wave of authentication improvement across the country. nga will have a role. we are making sure we are of one mind about what exactly it just looks like.
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we tried to do things by consensus. he felt if we were a single party organization, it would be difficult enough. for a bipartisan group, it is even more difficult. we all share the same goals, that our children will go as far as their potential can take them. so much of vegetation in this country is to of and at the local level. it is a philosophy shared across most -- so much of education in this country is done at the local level. there is clearly something broken. the president and the education secretary have acknowledged that. >> back to the national guard. can you speak on how you will
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work with the air guard on funding? >> it is hard to overstate how important our national guards are in each of our states, especially in helping us in times of emergency. we want to make it clear how cost-effective national guard is as part of our overall national defense package. it is remarkable. i had the opportunity to travel with governor malloy to afghanistan. we were flown from kuwait to afghanistan by members of the california national guard. we call them our hometown heroes.
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they are extraordinarily well trained. they are filling in for active duty forces and they are doing so to make that happen for us. it is incredibly cost-effective. i believe we have the irresponsibility. making decisions about the national defence -- national but when you have something like the national guard that is trained and is cost effective, that is to be part of the equation. we are going to keep hammering that particular point home. >> we want to be a partner in helping to looking at the solutions to challenges facing our nation.
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the national guard is important to our nation's defense. it is important they have the right equipment, the right training, the funding they need to be able to operate. they have played a huge role in defending our nation. what we are concerned about as governors in general is, when we are talking of sequestration and budget cuts -- we understand there will be cuts made. we are concerned about the disproportionate cuts to our national guard when it comes to our military. we believe it is important for governors to have a seat at the table. we appreciate that with congress and the vice president and the president. we are stepping up to take a more active role in the fiscal issues facing our nation.
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>> back to education. with your budget pretty limited, how are you trying to better connect education to your workforce so you can strengthen your state economies. ? what is on the table for that? >> first of all, it is a great question. it is what is on the table for every state. we had an $800 million budget shortfall. it is difficult to solve. what we try to lay all first is overarching principles. we wanted to continue to invest in things that would lead to a prosperous future for our state. that was around the education, work force development, and economic development. job wetter and better
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can do to make sure our -- the better and better stop we can do to make sure our students know what they are going to do for the rest of their lives is extremely important. it is the most important thing we can do to deal with the drought problem. a lot of kids got about because they again -- it is important that we deal with the dropout problem. this is not a matter of charity for businesses to be connected with our schools. they understand this is where their future work force is going to come from. whether it is internship opportunities for making sure business is getting into the schools help kids understand what kinds of skills are needed, one of the portents things kids can realizes that it is a different day the with-important things kids can realize --
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important things kids can realize is that it is a different day. maybe you did not complete all of your math or technical cultures -- courses. these days, you have to know your stuff. we have a responsibility as political leaders. families have a responsibility. we have to make sure we are hammer in his home. when you think about the issue of the educational advancement, one of the most difficult pieces for me is making sure we do everything we can to communicate how the world has changed and how we fit in. there are 3 billion people in the world looking for jobs. these are scallops -- gallup's
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numbers. people have more choices than ever before about where to go. there are plenty of places that are investing in their education systems and their work force of assistance to connect education with workforce development. we have to with up to that. we have to leapfrog. it is something we are focused on in a state and other states are as well. it differs from state to state, which is why i mentioned earlier there are 40 federal work force training programs. we are looking for as much flexibility as possible, including restoring the 15% of the welfare of the said act. that gives the government the most choices.
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>> all governors agree that education is critical to a strong, vibrant economy in giving our children the best foot forward. that is why the nga has worked on programs we have adopted. we are looking at our graduation or completion rates and gives its civic is to encourage students to stay -- and give certificates to students to stay in those fields. we compared the types of degrees we are offering to be sick of it is we are giving at our vocational schools -- offering certificates at our vocational schools. when a student graduates from the 12th grade, the high school
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diploma means they have been educated at the high school 12th grade skills level. we have been talking with higher education and career technology schools to make sure there is a seamless system between them. we have been talking to the private sector and asking them what are the job skills they need for the future. we have a lot of the aerospace industry in oklahoma and the oil and gas industry. if you had a high school diploma, that might hit you a decent job in those areas. now to start out at the entry- level position, you have to operate computers and you have to be able to turn on certain switches and calculates certain things. the types of skill sets needed in today's workforce are essential for us as governess to
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pay attention to and work on to make sure it is meeting the needs of our employers. >> it is a specific and useful thing. states can make sure that wins -- that when students graduate within it is, they are the best graduate with certificates, they are recognized -- students graduate with certificates, they are recognized around the world. >> there have been some difficulties. airforce related question. fiscal year 2013, there were some difficulties between the government and the administration. it depends on a non-disclosure agreement. it has not been signed by the
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incoming director for fiscal year 2014. would you like to see the non- disclosure agreement taken off of the table? >> we will leave those conversations between the governors and the air force rather than trying to negotiate in the press. people come to issues with different perspectives. but is as much that brings us together -- to make sure the -- there is as much that brings us together. phil sawyer looking forward to continuing these conversations and working with the air force and others at the pentagon. appreciate everybody for coming out. they cues so much. [applause] -- thank you so much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national
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cable satellite corp. 2013] >> the new congress is expected to debate immigration. a discussion on the naturalization process. later, an update on state and federal immigration law enforcement. we will also take your calls, e- mails, and tweets.
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"washington journal" each morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> people who describe themselves as libertarian, you might be getting between 10% and 15%. if you give people a battery of questions about ideological things and you track those to different ideologies, depending on which poll you are looking at, you get 30% of americans who call themselves libertarians. if you ask, are you economically conservative and socially liberal -- liberal, you get over half of americans saying that is who they are. just because people say these things does not necessarily mean they believe them. if you ask americans if they want smaller government, they say yes. if you ask them to cut any particular item on the budget, they to not want to cut anything.
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based on the best data i have in writing this book, as low as 10% and as high as 30%. if libertarians were conscious and political, they could be a bit movement. there could be a lot of people have a shared ideology. they are not organized that way right now. >> a political primer in libertarianism sunday night at ."p.m. on c-span's "q & a >> in the minds of america's that the fathers is particularly dangerous. they were not a collective unit. presenting them as such dramatically oversimplifies the the politics of the founding generation.
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it comes to be used as a big battering ram to beat people over the head with in ways that are historically incoherent. >> the deep historical faa's -- flaws used by conservatives about the founding fathers. "after wordsk tv's ." >> connecticut governor stan malloy comments on the newtown shootings. he talks about the budget and economy and hurricane relief efforts. this is 30 minutes. [applause]
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>> nice to see you. how are you doing? >> thank you. >> it is hard to believe two your staff passed since the governor and i took office. the would-two years have passed between -- the two years have passed between the governor and i took office. despite the many headwinds we have faced, this governor has ended year after year of
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complacency in our state government and is moving connecticut will work again. our state is reinvented, reinvigorated on so many levels. whether it is our approach to economic growth, educating our children, or caring for the sick and the elderly. i look forward to working with him and all of you concession to keep the momentum going to the benefits of everyone who calls our state home. our state just went through and is still going through a tragedy that we never expected. i, personally, have privately thanked the governor for his work. those of you who were not in attendance, those of you who have not been on the ground newtown do not understand the
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feelings about what happened or how the governor lead. there are a lot of people we have to thank. i know the governor is going to do that. i have got to personally thank you governor for taking hold of the lanes -- reins and helping with compassion and leadership and caring. for getting people's lives back on track again. ladies and gentlemen, i cannot tell you how proud i am to introduce a man who has the compassion, who understands what vision is, who has no greater love for this state and 40 people in it, our governor, amyloid. -- dfan -- dan mallow.
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>> mr. president, mr. speaker, senator mckinney, representative cafero, lt. governor wyman and my fellow state officials, ladies and gentlemen of the general assembly, honored members of the judiciary, members of the clergy, and all the citizens of our great state who are watching or listening today -- thank you for the honor of inviting me into the people's house to address you. i'd like to offer my sincere congratulations to the newly elected leadership of the democratic and republican caucuses in each chamber, and especially to speaker sharkey and majority leader aresimowicz as they take on their new roles.
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congratulations as well to the new members of the general assembly who were sworn in earlier today. i look forward to working with you in the months and years ahead. as we gather in this historic chamber, let us always keep in our thoughts the brave men and women of the great state of connecticut serving in our armed forces around the globe. we thank them and our veterans for their service and sacrifice, and we pray for their continued safety. i'd like to recognize my wonderful wife cathy and my sons daniel and sam who join us today. as i know is true for so many of you, i could not do my job
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without the tremendous love and support of my family. finally, we are joined by two of newtown's finest leaders -- first selectwoman pat llodra and school superintendent dr. janet robinson. it's an honor to have you with us today. [applause]
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tested by unimaginable tragedy, your compassion and leadership over the past month has been an inspiration to connecticut, and to me personally. it won't surprise you that this speech is very different from the one i first envisioned giving. in the early days of december, i began thinking about what i'd like to say. now, while it's only been a few short weeks on the calendar, we have all walked a very long and very dark road together. what befell newtown is not
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something we thought possible in any of connecticut's beautiful towns or cities. and yet, in the midst of one of the worst days in our history, we also saw the best of our state. teachers and a therapist that sacrificed their lives protecting students. a principal and school psychologist that ran selflessly into harm's way. our brave connecticut state police, newtown's local law enforcement, firemen, and others that responded courageously when called upon. in the aftermath, a selectwoman, a superintendent, and other local officials that have served around-the-clock bringing comfort and stability to newtown. and today, sandy hook's teachers are doing what they do best-- putting the interest of their students first as they return to classrooms, providing stability and continuity that has never been so important and so needed. and then, of course, there are
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the families. twenty-six families that despite an unimaginable loss have gotten up each and every day since, have been there for one another, and have supported their community as much as that community has supported them. they have persevered. and in that perseverance, we all find strength. we have lifted one another up and continued on, carrying the spirit of our fallen heroes, our wounded families, and our beautiful lost children. as a state and as a community, we will continue to do everything we can for the families of newtown. but we also must ask ourselves-- what is our responsibility? to those we've lost, to one another, to our children, and to future generations?
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during this legislative session, we're going to begin to answer those questions together. let us do everything in our power to ensure that connecticut never again suffers such a loss, that we take real steps to make our kids and our communities safer. last week, my administration announced the formation of the sandy hook advisory commission, comprised of experts in mental health, education, law enforcement, and first response. we may never know what motivated the events at sandy hook elementary, but that won't stop us from working to prevent future tragedy. over the coming months, the commission will come together to make specific, actionable recommendations in the areas of school safety, mental health services, and gun violence prevention. this session, i know there will be others that take action on these issues, and i applaud those efforts. the more resources we can bring to bear on this issue, the better. working together we can and will affect real change.
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there are some things we know already. we know that we must find ways to better respond to those with mental health needs. as a society, we have an obligation to take action in a meaningful way when a person seeks our help or demonstrates a need for it. we must balance our respect for individual rights with our obligation to provide for the greater public safety. and when it comes to preventing future acts of violence in our schools, let me say this -- more guns are not the answer. freedom is not a handgun on the hip of every teacher, and security should not mean a guard posted outside every classroom. that is not who we are in connecticut, and it is not who we will allow ourselves to become. we also know that this conversation must take place
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nationally. as long as weapons continue to travel up and down i-95, what is available for sale in florida can have devastating consequences here in connecticut. there will be more to say in the weeks ahead, but let me be clear today -- our focus will be first and foremost on protecting connecticut's families. those conversations won't always be easy, but as your governor i've learned there is no challenge we will face that can't be overcome with the power of our community.
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we have come together time and time again. we've done it with purpose because we know there is something bigger and more important than who we are as individuals. my friends, as we begin this legislative session let us be guided by devotion to the common good, by faith in one another, and by a determination to work together to make our community as strong as it can be in every way. looking back over these past twenty-four months, we've faced many challenges together-- the largest per-capita budget deficit in the nation, a struggling economy, a fractured public school system, untenable
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energy costs, and natural disasters the likes of which our generation had never seen. and then, in december, just when we thought the worst had happened -- it actually did. the people of connecticut, the communities you represent, and all of us in this chamber when tested, we met those challenges head on. we did as our forefathers did, as our grandparents and parents taught us. we dug in. we banded together. we decided to focus not on what makes us different, but on what makes us the same our common humanity. it is this core strength and spirit of community that brought us together to accomplish so much on behalf of the people of connecticut. two years ago, we faced the single largest per-capita deficit in the nation. it was a problem decades in the making. we knew that getting our fiscal house in order was critical to creating jobs. connecticut employers needed a responsible and predictable partner in state government. we came together and passed a balanced budget. we cut more than we added in new revenue. and even after revenues came in short as they did in 31 other states we know today that our budget as-enacted fixed more than 90 percent of the problem. last month, democrats and republicans came together to make sure we closed that final
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gap without raising taxes. anyone who tells you that the budget we passed two years ago didn't do its job, that it didn't make real change in how we approach our finances, is simply not telling the truth. i know that many of you cast hard votes to fix those problems. that's the kind of resolve and leadership that we're bringing back to connecticut. we've made other tough decisions along the way. after years of underfunding our pensions, a $4.5 billion payment would have been required in the year 2032 more than four times what we'll pay this year. it would not have been possible. that's why last year we restructured our payments to reverse years of chronic underfunding. we're avoiding our own fiscal cliff and saving connecticut taxpayers $6 billion over the next 20 years.
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we didn't kick the can down the road we picked it up. through a restructured benefits and pension agreement with our public employees, we're saving the state approximately $20 billion. and we made sure that state government tightened its own belt in other ways. we shrunk the number of state agencies by more than 25 percent. we trimmed executive branch employees by more than twelve hundred over the past two years, including more than a ten percent reduction in the number of state managers. as we've done more with less, so have our hard-working state employees. they've adapted and found new ways to continue providing critical services to state residents. we've all had to buckle down and make tough choices. we're going to make more of them in the weeks and months ahead. recently, there's been a national conversation about
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economic development, about whether it makes any sense to have states competing against one another for jobs. it's a good conversation to have, and it's the right time to have it. but a dialogue on the best way forward can't be an excuse for standing still. we see that too often in washington. i believe that each one of us in this chamber must approach this session with a core guiding principle -- until every person in our state who wants a job can find one, we have more work to do. [applause] we can't stick our heads in the sand or simply hope for the best. not when other states are actively recruiting jobs from every corner of the globe jobs that can and should come to connecticut. we must compete for every single job.
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with that mindset, we've begun to tackle the challenge of economic development in a holistic way. our first five program, along with the addition of jackson laboratories, has leveraged $180 million in public funding to drive more than $2 billion in private investment. that same program made it possible for connecticut to bring two fortune 500 headquarters to our state. the last time connecticut was talking about two fortune 500 companies was in 2006, and it was because they were leaving. on main streets across connecticut, the small business express program is giving local employers the chance to expand and create jobs. it was because of this program that bevin brothers manufacturing in east hampton was able to rebuild after a fire ravaged their historic bell factory. they purchased new equipment and got their employees back to work.
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just a few months ago, i announced the third plank of our economic development strategy the innovation ecosystem. the program has one goal connecting people that have good ideas with capital investors. it will create new, high-skill jobs jobs with good wages, jobs with good benefits. we're off to a good start, but it's only a start. the key is making government an active partner rather than a bystander who watches markets develop elsewhere. by investing in growth industries like bioscience and digital media, by recruiting companies like jackson laboratory and nbc sports, and by standing with our small businesses and start-ups, we're taking steps to make sure that connecticut leads the way. when it came to education, the stakes were clear-- take action
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together or risk losing an entire generation of young people to failing schools and a widening achievement gap. i am proud that after a long and hard debate, we were able to say with one voice that the status quo is no longer acceptable, that when it comes to public education we can't keep doing what we've always done and hope for better results, that our kids can't afford it, and neither can our state. we worked with an eye toward the future and made an historic investment of nearly $100 million, from pre-k through high school, focusing on districts that we know are most in need. reaching kids early is critical to success, and early childhood education had to be a central part of reform. we created 1,000 new school readiness openings statewide for our youngsters at a time when no one thought that was possible.
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that's 1,000 more children that will show up to kindergarten on day-one ready to learn. we did that together, and we'll do more. to combat an unacceptable achievement gap, we've begun transforming our underperforming schools through the newly created commissioner's network. four schools have already volunteered and are benefiting from intensive intervention, increased instruction time, and improved collaboration among teachers and administrators. i've visited these four schools in bridgeport, hartford, new haven and norwich, and each exhibits a new energy and renewed sense of purpose. more schools are lining up to be transformed in the years ahead. of course, reform could not be complete without supporting our teachers. they have dedicated their lives to our children, and for the first time in a very long time, we're dedicating new resources for them. we know success is possible.
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we've seen it. with a cooperative effort where every voice is heard, we're going to replicate it in classrooms around our state. the bottom line is that students are going to be better prepared for school today, and for the job market tomorrow. when it came to energy, our state had been a national leader for years, in the worst possible way. we had the highest electric rates in the continental united states rates that were squeezing the budgets of families and businesses. we came together. we decided we needed a plan to
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take these problems head-on. we realized that our environmental, energy, and economic needs were all related, and that the path we chose would impact our economy for years to come. we consolidated state agencies to better coordinate our energy functions. we strengthened programs promoting renewable power and energy efficiency leveraging private capital to deliver renewable energy at a price lower than almost anywhere else in the united states. today, we've seen electric rates drop in connecticut by 12 percent across the board. we can't stop now. the comprehensive energy strategy that my administration announced this past october shows us the path forward.
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together, we will expand cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable energy choices for consumers, enhancing efficiency programs for all communities, at the same time helping to create thousands of new jobs. putting connecticut businesses and consumers in control of their energy future will have a real and immediate impact. look no further than modern woodcrafts, a locally-owned company in plainville. they invested in the kind of energy efficiency initiatives that our state plan will promote. they've seen more than $35,000 per year in savings on energy costs. or in woodbridge, where amity high school will have an annual budget savings of $120,000 after the town made a conversion to natural gas. across connecticut, we are taking control of our energy future. [applause] high energy prices, struggling schools, a broken budget, a sluggish economy. all problems that every person in this room knew we were facing
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two years ago, and we have faced them together. other challenges we didn't see coming. in 2011, connecticut was rocked by the worst winter in our history, two storms packing a one-two punch the likes of which we hadn't seen in more than 25 years. tropical storm irene and the october nor'easter revealed holes in our emergency response system that should have been addressed years, if not decades ago. it was a wake-up call -- and we woke up. we put in place new procedures to better coordinate our emergency response infrastructure. we commissioned a "two storm panel" to investigate exactly
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what went wrong and to determine what needed to be done to prevent unacceptable power and communication disruptions. that panel led directly to the passage of tough new laws, laws that hold connecticut utility companies accountable for how they respond to emergencies. and we created a new energy micro-grid program to increase energy reliability in critical areas. these weren't quick fixes or window dressing. they were the result of saying we'd had enough it was time to do more. what does it all mean for connecticut residents? we know we will again feel the brunt of powerful weather. but we can tell our citizens that their state is more prepared for future challenges, that their families will be safer when disaster strikes, and that the odds of anyone having to needlessly suffer through prolonged power outages have been greatly diminished. when hurricane sandy struck, we saw results from the work we'd done together. while we can never entirely prevent damage or power outages, the response was better and faster. once again, we saw a problem and, together, we worked to address it.
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if these past two years have proven anything, it's that we have the ability to rally around a common good and a common goal. we've done it in a way that just doesn't seem possible these days in some places certainly not in washington d.c. in december, at the same time leadership from each of your caucuses were meeting with my staff for long hours night- after-night to negotiate a mitigation plan, our national budget was being driven toward, and then off, a fiscal cliff. while we've worked to manage our state's finances, national inaction hangs like a dark cloud over our budget. for the many connecticut families with someone working in our defense industry, washington's inability to address problems on a reasonable deadline is causing sleepless nights.
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it's unnecessary. and earlier this month, while many families and small businesses were still working to recover and rebuild from hurricane sandy, the gears once again ground to a halt, slowing the process of getting aid to those who need it most. it's unacceptable. i say this not to demean any of our colleagues in washington but in the hope that we will better appreciate what we've accomplished here in connecticut. two years ago, you first welcomed me into this chamber. i spoke then about the challenges we faced, and about the opportunities that we knew were within our grasp. i spoke about who we are as a community. about the ingenuity, the resolve and the resilience that has defined connecticut over centuries. about eli whitney, prudence crandall, and harriet beecher stowe. about a history of overcoming challenges together. my friends, that is still who we are today. we've come a long way in two
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years, and we've done it together as a government, as a community, as a state. in 2013, let us honor one another, let us honor our renewed community, and let us honor those we've lost. we have a great deal of work to do. but if history is any judge, we will rise to the occasion. when called upon, we will answer as we've done time and time again as one people, one community, one connecticut. may god bless you, may god bless the great state of connecticut, and may god bless the united states of america.
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thank you. [applause] >> "washington journal" is live next with your phone calls. tonight, a discussion of student loan debt. next, on "washington journal," we will be discussing national immigration policy throughout today's program. then the president of the de


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